LOWER EXTREMITIES AFFECTED BY GOUT

Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by having too much uric acid in the blood.  It is most common in men.  Gout can cause a sudden attack of burning pain, stiffness and swelling in a joint and these attacks can happen over and over unless the gout is treated.  Over time, gout can harm your joints, tendons and other tissues.

Symptoms you may be experiencing:

  • sudden attack of burning pain, warmth, stiffness, tenderness and swelling in the big toe, usually during the night
  • the effects of the attack may increase quickly and may last for hours or for up to several weeks
  • red or purple skin around the affected joint
  • limited movement in the affected joint
  • peeling and itching of the skin around the affected joint as the gout effects begin to subside
  • gout attacks can also occur in the foot, ankle and knee as well as other joints less commonly
  • attacks may be as infrequent as months or even years
  • some people experience a more chronic type of gout where the symptoms are more tolerable but more consistent

Initial care - things to try at home:

  • during an acute attack, rest, ice and elevate the affected joint (ensuring that you use a cloth between the ice and the skin);
  • short-term use of anti-inflammatory medications may help to reduce the pain during an attack, upon consultation with your GP, rheumatologist or pharmacist;
  • rest the affected joint for 24 hours after an attack;
  • maintain a healthy body weight to take pressure off your ankles and feet and prevent the condition from worsening;
  • limit consumption alcohol, meat and seafood.

Our approach to solving your problem:

  1. Our Podiatrists will complete a thorough assessment of the foot and ankle including skin condition, foot shape, flexibility and tenderness to pressure.
  2. As part of this assessment, you may be referred off to get arthrocentesis.  If you are not already seeing a rheumatologist, this may also be arranged for you via communication with your GP.
  3. A podiatrists primary role with gout patients is to diagnose and refer on for appropriate testing and treatment.
  4. We will ensure that we communicate thoroughly and consistently with your GP, rheumatologist and any other health care professionals on your management team.

We will then create a management plan specific to you to:

  1. help settle the pain;
  2. address the causative factors;
  3. liaise with other members of your health care team.

If you think you may be suffering from gout and would like some professional advice from one of our Podiatrists, give us a call on 9894 2463 or book online to make an appointment.